On March 23 Handicap International (HI) and UNHCR organized an unusual repatriation
convoy to Battambang of 70 Cambodians from Site 2, the last remaining Cambodian refugee
camp. Among them were 22 "survivors," heavily disabled people who would
normally have died without the care they received for nearly 13 years in the Rehabilitation
Center for paralyzed patients set up by HI at Khao I Dang.
For the 22 patients with severe neurological injuries, the seven- hour journey to
Battambang represented a hazardous hardship. The convoy, organized with the help
of ICRC included eight ICRC ambulances for the patients.
Their destination was a temporary center set up by the HI team in Cambodia, pending
the completion of an EC-funded Rehabilitation Center for Paraplegics and Quadraplegics
in Battambang, the first of its kind in Cambodia.